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Data: FactSet; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The U.S. stock market closely tracked its performance from 2008 following the first major decline of the bear market this year, but has now diverged greatly.

What's happening: Comparing the period of 31 market days starting from Sept. 29, 2008, to the same period beginning March 9 this year, the S&P 500 has fallen by much less than it did, despite expectations for this to be a far more damaging recession.

  • Those dates are effective markers because both were the first time the S&P fell by 5% following respective economic shocks (Lehman's bankruptcy and coronavirus), DataTrek Research's Nicholas Colas says in a note to clients.

Why it matters: The big difference was the response of U.S. policymakers.

  • While Congress didn't introduce TARP until October and the Fed didn't take rates to zero or introduce quantitative easing until November, this time around the Fed swung into action well before the first major market crash.
  • "In 2008, the 'it’s going to take longer to fix things than we thought' moment was the November election," Colas says.
  • "Markets understood they would have to wait until 2009 for fiscal stimulus (ARRA passed in Feb 2009). From Election Day to the lows for the year (12 days later) the S&P 500 fell 25.2%."

That moment may still be to come in this recession, Colas warns.

  • "Overlay 2008’s day-by-day experience on to 2020 and you get an 18% decline in the S&P 500 over the next 8 trading sessions."

Watch this space: Bank of America analysts predict the S&P is headed for new lows based on patterns in the VIX, or the stock market's volatility gauge, from 1987, 2002 and 2008.

  • They predict the S&P will top out at around 2,960, about 160 points above its current level, before falling through the March 23 low in the coming weeks.
  • Volatility markets are "underpricing the risk of a secondary market shock," they say in a recent note to clients.

Go deeper: The stock market's demand disconnect

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Jul 31, 2020 - Health

CDC: Most COVID-19 cases at Georgia summer camp came from kids

Photo: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Despite mitigation efforts, a 597-person summer sleep-away camp in Georgia was responsible for a cluster of coronavirus cases in June, where more than half of the positive tests came from children under age 18, according to a case study published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: Kids are not immune to the coronavirus. The findings accentuate the unknown factors associated with how easily children transmit the virus, and only weeks before schools are expected to reopen.